For my money, the best Imperial IPA around
Posted on 4/15/2011 at 5:01 PM EST (766 days ago)
1 Member Rating | Exquisite Overall | 10/10 Appearance | 10/10 Aroma | 10/10 Mouthfeel | 10/10 Flavor
To be honest, several of my friends will be angry with me because I beat them to the first review of Foothills' Seeing Double Imperial IPA. This beer, in my eyes, is the best Imperial/Double IPA you can find. And yes, I will happily stand by that statement. I know this beer is crafted from a brewery that is 80 miles down the road from me, but the best of the best knows no regional bias. If I lived in Figi, I'd still say that the best Imperial IPA is crafted at Foothills Brewery in Winston-Salem, NC.
To be fair, I have had my share of strong IPAs. One of my all time favorites comes from Japan of all places (to be reviewed later). In my personal opinion, two and only two factors need to be considered when reviewing a quality Imperial IPA: hops and strength. If you can find the magical balance between the two, then all the rest is relative to personal taste. But unfortunately, most breweries can't find that harmony. Most Imperial IPAs tend to be somewhat imbalanced, causing the beer to be too strong and unnecessarily bitter, or two weak to compensate for the overriding bitter flavor. In short, a good Imperial IPA should taste as strong as it actually is. Seems simple, but it's not.
Considering the very few breweries that can get it right, Foothills has knocked it out of the ballpark. Their Seeing Double Imperial IPA is a study in how to craft high gravity IPAs. The aroma is perfect: a big burst of citrus and hoppy goodness, impeccably blended. The appearance is mouth watering: a hazy semi-transparent cloud of golden joy. The mounthfeel is extraordinary: that wonderful hop-heavy front with a long and savory bitter-free finish. This beer sits on your taste buds for a really long time, so you should allow it to properly dissipate. The flavor is simply magical. Going back to my first point, the word is balance. You get those luscious big hops right from the get go with a bunch of sweet and citrusy undertones, all without being overwhelmed by strength. The dominant flavors often cross paths, which makes this beer a complex delight.
So for the brave among you, this is where your IPA journey ends. Think you've had a great IPA? Think again. Not saying you haven't, but I advise you not to make that assumption until you've had a Foothills Seeing Double. This beer is to quality what Bill Gates is to rich.
Member Comments (2)
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Posted on 5/12/2011 at 1:28 PM EST
Still the standard by which all other beers are measured. Seeing Double for the win!
Posted on 5/12/2011 at 1:39 PM EST
Can't argue with that statement. :) Part of me really wishes they would bottle this beer, but I'd be too afraid that it would impact the impeccable flavor. Thank goodness we live close to Foothills!